Fashion, portraiture, documentary, landscape, sport, and commercial. It’s easy to expect their types of careers for future photographers. In fact, I’m sure many of you can name one of the greats from these genres. They often create global superstars like Annie Leibovitz, David Bailey, and Ansel Adams. However, with a background and expertise in photography, there are much different photography careers one can take. We want to highlight the more obscure kinds of photography that someone can fall into. Some are vital, some are not. No matter what they are all careers in photography. We also want to bring attention to what kind of photographer are you. It seems that in many cases when you tell people that you are a photographer they assume you do it all. That’s an unfair assumption. Think of it this way do you know a doctor who will cure your teeth, examine your heart, prescribe your glasses, and cure your childhood psychological traumas? It’s unlikely, so we want to highlight some of the niches in photography that the average person often forgets about.
1. Medical Photographer
This special branch of photography is concerned with the documentation of patients during medical and surgical procedures, as well as medical devices and specimens from the autopsy. In other words, this is not for the squeamish. You will be getting up close and personal with a lot of nasty stuff. Depending on the type of hospital (state or private) these kinds of photographers can make between 46K and 52K a year.
2. Cruise Ship Photographer
Basically for those of you who love photography and who love travel may have a profession right at sea. This is something you could try out even if it’s just for a little while. You get to photograph happy and excited passengers while sailing to some cool locations. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You will have to work long hours, own your own equipment, have excellent customer service skills, and be able to sell your own photos because that’s where your commission will come from.
3. Forensics Photographer
AKA crime scene photography. It may sound grim, but someone has to do it. You’ll always see something different and as long as you can separate yourself from the emotional aspect of tragedy you should do well. In this type of photography, you will document the initial appearance of the crime scene, and physical evidence in order to provide a permanent record to the courts. Your salary will depend on whether you do this full time or on a contract level basis. You could make 24K and 49K a year.
4. Real Estate Photographer
This is exactly what it sounds like. Your job would be to take photos of properties, both interior and exterior that realtors will use to advertise and help sell the product to potential buyers. You will need to be able to produce high-quality results. In this profession, you can charge anywhere from $120-$300 per shoot, not including video. This is if you are on a freelance basis. You could also try to get hired full time by a corporate real estate company.
5. Paparazzi Photographer
We all know what a paparazzi photographer does. To sum it up you sell photos of celebrities to magazines and tabloids. Basically, you invade a famous person’s life and try to catch them in compromising situations with your camera for entertainment purposes. The term paparazzi means pest or mosquito in Italian. With the digital world booming the elements of this career have changed a bit, but you can still sell your photos for a decent price. The amount of money you make is all going to depend on the photograph, how good it is and who it’s of. The more A-list the celebrity the more you will get paid.
6. Hurricane/ Storm Chaser Photographer
This is not for the average person. Some may look at this profession as some sort of death wish. Anyone who is an adrenaline junkie would love this role. You can go after less dangerous storms when they happen to come through your area, or you can spend storm season on the road, going after the crazy weather that will get you your shot. This isn’t a career that pays the bills. There are a lot of expenses that go along with it and you’re the unpredictability can be your wildest dreams or worst nightmare.
7. Dental Photographer
The official name is an Ophthalmic photographer. You document dentistry. You take pictures of teeth, whether it be for ads or for research purposes. You’ll have to be okay with staring into mouths a lot of the time. It doesn’t pay a whole lot, but you could make $20 an hour doing this and receive medical benefits.
8. Theme Park Photographer
This is one of the cooler jobs on the list. If you are lucky and can find this job you could be spending countless hours photographing the country’s best amusement parks and their guests. An example of this career is the portrait photographers at Disney Park locations.
9. Insurance Claim Photographer
This job will undoubtedly be dry, yet it needs to be done. You’ll most likely work for a corporate company and be in charge of photography any insurance claims that come through. From car accidents to home damage. This stuff needs to get documented too.
10. Abandoned/Creepy Building Photographer
This isn’t really a job per say. Yet, it is a good way to create some sinister and thought-provoking images. You’ll also get to explore some pretty cool places that have been left alone. There’s something so eerie about being in a place that has been forgotten by the world. If you’re easily scared then avoid this one because it can get spooky.
The important thing to realize is that the opportunities for a photographer are endless. You can make your art into any profession you choose. As long as you have the drive, focus, and the will to create you will get somewhere. Just promise to never be afraid of your dreams. They may not always turn out the exact way you thought, but they will happen if you go for it.
Did you have any suggestions of other photography careers we didn’t mention? Share with us in the comments below. Needing some advice in photography and where to plan your shoot? Check out our recent article HERE